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   Home      Museum of Kitsch

Lying central in the metropolis of Mumbai lies the residence of Dina and Arnavas.  In 1938, the parents of the pair were the first residents of this Parsi Colony and have resided since.  In their youth, Dina and her sister attended Saint Josephs Convent in Panchgani while their father was dealing in motor spare parts.  After some time spent in youthful folly, Dina’s father had passed in 1979.  In 1985 perhaps as a form of therapy, Dina had started roaming the narrow corridors of Chor Bazaar in search of something to fill the gap in her life her father once held.  This habit was compacted followed by her mothers demise in 1997, leaving her with the sole responsibility of caring for her younger sister Arnavas.  Chor Bazaar is not the only place Dina haunts; one can catch a glimpse of her twice a month at Crawford Market and the city of Nasik as well.

Over the past 20 years, Dina has collected many items from the obscure to unique.  Panning across the haunts of her home lays further evidence of her passion towards this hobby.  Dina has devoted a majority of her time not only expanding her arsenal but also arranging its display.  Taking into consideration the subject and color of the piece.  It is an immaculate collection worthy of any museum and I am in awe of its display for many pieces invoke memories of childhood and a period that once existed.  The feeling one gets in viewing the exhibit is one of compassion towards Dina.  She only knows the deep-rooted reasons why this pattern of behavior started but one can surely speculate on the possible episode that triggered its birth.

Dina is very religious as evident in her collection and enjoys celebrating Diwali and Christmas the most.  In regards to her own religion, she visits the agiary only once a year.  Perhaps because she herself feels her residence is her agiary.
As a Parsi, she feels no attachment

to her religion and has become disillusioned

by the Panchayat or "Dirty Swines"
as she refers to them.

She feels Mumbaikar Parsis

carry the characteristics of

“All show and no go…”

Dina’s favorite color is red and is mostly drawn to battery-operated novelties that often blink and play music.  Secondary to her hobby lies her interest in Comedy and T.V. Serials and shares the company of enjoying these frivolous activities with a shot of whiskey.   "I love a Royal Challenge”; says Dina.  Of course this would be the brand of choice of a woman who misses all things royal and perhaps the time of British rule evident by the tributes paid to various royalty decorating her walls.

Dina and Arnavas spend time each year vacationing in Deolali.  A town they enjoyed in childhood with their parents.  Arnavas enjoys Deolali most in comparison to Mumbai.  Although they are on vacation in the physical sense, Dina’s hobby rarely takes a rest.  Often after returning from vacation and gathering more plans to expand her collection comes the time to once more pack and vacation once more.
What is the secret to maintaining this level of energy
one may ask?  
“Chicken Vindaloo”; says Dina,
"Chicken is my favorite food". 


And what does her sister Arnavas say to this;
“All food is good and therein lies my hobby”.
When asked what item she is missing from her collection; “Nothing, I have it all!  House full”, says a joyful Dina with great pride.  So the next time you commit yourself to shopping at any local bazaar, keep and eye out for Dina.  The breeze that crosses your shoulder or blur to your eye is Dina at work.